Here are recent appeals filed with the New Canaan Parking Commission by ticketed motorists. ***
“I had parked in front of Dunkin Doughnuts on Elm Street to pick up my doughnut order. I thought the area in front of the store was temporary parking for Dunkin Doughnut customers. There was no sign that read ‘No Parking.’I literally parked there for under 3 minutes. As I returned from the store I saw a parking official place a ticket on my windshield.
The Parking Commission this month voted 3-2 to uphold a $30 ticket that had been issued to a New Canaan woman who parked in a loading zone on Forest Street. Denise Luccarelli told members of the appointed body at her appeal hearing that she “had all of Forest Street to park on” when she went to breakfast at New Canaan Diner with a friend on the morning of Aug. 19 (a Monday). “And everyone knows where the handicapped spot is, so I knew if I parked two or three car lengths away from the handicapped spot, I would be good,” Luccarelli said during the hearing, held Sept. 4 at Town Hall.
The volunteers who help oversee New Canaan’s Parking Bureau said this month pushed back on the idea of empowering enforcement officers to void tickets once they’ve been written.
Parking Commission Chairman Keith Richey broached the idea during the appointed body’s Sept. 4 meeting, saying that in certain cases—for example, where someone happened to be in a double-parked or otherwise mis-parked vehicle, or was unaware of a loading zone rule—it could make sense to empower the enforcement officer to retract a ticket.
Yet doing so would bring new risks, the commissioners said.
“It puts the officer on the street in an awkward position when the townsperson says look I lived in New Canaan for 39 yrs and I am a senior citizen and I am really important in New Canaan and I think you ought to waive this ticket,” Commissioner Peter Ogilvie said during the special meeting, held at Town Hall.
“Well, if the officer has the legal ability to waive right then and there on the street, the officer is going to feel pretty intimidated by some of these people. I don’t think you want to give that right to the officer on the street.”
According to appeals filed by motorists cited for violating New Canaan’s parking rules, enforcement officers often say on the street that they cannot retract a ticket once it’s printed.
Parking Manager Stacy Miltenberg said that the officers already give motorists an opportunity to move or urge a driver to correct the violation prior to issuing a ticket. “They will tell somebody to please move,” Miltenberg said. Commissioner Chris Hering said that changing the Bureau’s practice would just expose the department.
“What we try to do in our role here is to be fair and consistent and I think that we expose ourselves with further leniency,” Hering said.
Officials last week voided a $25 ticket issued to a New Canaan man who parked more than 12 inches from the curb on Main Street downtown one morning this summer. Joseph Somma told members of the Parking Commission during an appeal hearing that he’d been making a quick run from the New Canaan Field Club on the morning of June 24 (a Monday) to Baskin-Robbins to pick up ice cream for kids. A resident of New Canaan for 16 years, Somma spotted one parking space in front of the popular ice cream shop, pulled into it with his new truck and “didn’t realize how bad I did park,” he told the Commission during the Sept. 4 hearing, held at Town Hall. “I did park and I broke the rules.
The body cameras that the head of of the New Canaan Parking Bureau is seeking to acquire for enforcement officers would cost about $3,500 total and funding for them is included in this year’s budget, she said last week. The cost of storing the video the cameras record in the cloud would come to an additional approximately $1,000 per year, according to Parking Manager Stacy Miltenberg. With support from the Parking Commission at the appointed body’s prior meeting, Miltenberg put together a formal proposal for the Board of Selectmen to purchase the cameras. Miltenberg and parking enforcement officers have spoken in favor of using them to ensure that there’s an official record of interactions with motorists. “I put a proposal together, and a procedure together … for the Board of Selectmen, but at this time [First Selectman] Kevin [Moynihan] does not want to move forward with it until he gives it more thought,” she told members of the Commission during a special meeting held Sept.